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Apple, Cisco Partner to Boost iOS for Business

Partnership aims to optimize collaboration between Apple’s mobile devices and Cisco networking and conferencing tools.

Corporate market integrators can expect to see an increase of iPhones and iPads that play well with Cisco‘s collaboration products after the news of a new partnership between Apple and Cisco, aimed at the enterprise market.

The initiative, announced Monday, is aimed at helping Apple’s mobile and tablet devices communicate more effectively on corporate networks where Cisco gear is used. The two major tech players will optimize Cisco networks and iOS devices so that they work together more effectively to yield greater performance for business customers.

With Apple’s support, Cisco will optimize its collaboration tools, like Cisco Spark, Telepresence and WebEx, for iOS across mobile and cloud. The deal is 10 months in the making and was outlined to thousands of Cisco sales representatives on Monday, when Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, spoke about how the partnership would transform the business environment.

“iPhone and iPad have become essential tools for the modern workforce and are changing the way work gets done,” says Cook. “Together with Cisco, we believe we can give businesses the tools to maximize the potential of iOS and help employees become even more productive using the devices they already love.”

Cook and Cisco Chairman John Chambers underlined two main issues they hope to solve by working together. First, today’s business processes place overwhelming demands on the network. Apple and Cisco aim to establish a “fast lane” for iOS devices in corporate environments, prioritizing essential wireless and network connections within a business.

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Second, many workers rely on their iPhones for address books and contact numbers. Since work phones are often supplied by Cisco, integrating the devices will make office directories and contacts easier to access and store.

The partnership comes as Apple has been taking steps to build a broader business-to-business presence. Previously relying heavily on consumer sales, Apple has recently made other moves into the enterprise world, such as the development of a sales program with other tech companies that create apps targeted at businesses. Whereas in the past office applications were mainly written for PCs running Microsoft software, we are seeing Apple gain a definite foothold in the market.